3,500 at Valley Climate Protests

On September 20 in the Valley, around 3,500 people attended marches and rallies calling on politicians to do more to stop climate change. About 1,000 people marched in Northampton. About 1,000 people marched in Brattleboro; photos are at:

www.valleypost.org/node/1541

Around 600 people attended rallies in Greenfield, according to organizers. The Northampton march was at 5 p.m. At noon in Northampton about 400 people attended a downtown rally.

"We estimated 300 were at the rally at UMass Amherst," a spokesperson for Sunrise Movement UMass Amherst told the Valley Post. Around 300 people attended two rallies in Keene.

Verne McArthur organized the Springfield rally. “There were at least 50 people, maybe 60,” he told the Valley Post. “People were very appreciative that we pulled off this chance to stand in Springfield with the youth movements around the world.”

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In Amherst on September 27 there will be a peace rally. With 4 percent of the world's population, the USA spends as much on war as the rest of world combined. About half of this year's entire federal budget of about $3 trillion is being spent on war. The Amherst rally goes from 9 a.m. until 11 a.m. at 1 Campus Center Way. Details are at:

http://masspeaceaction.org/event/protest-war-profiteer-raytheon-at-umass...

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Critical Mass bicycle rides started in 1992 in California and have since spread around the world. Hundreds of people ride together in a group on roads, forcing cars to go at bicycle speed. They often chant, “Critical Mass, don't use gas!”

On September 27 there will be a Critical Mass bike ride in Northampton. The ride starts at 5:30 p.m. at the high school. The goal is to get politicians to deal with climate change, which the world's leading scientists say is a major threat to earth's ability to support human life. Details about the ride are at:

www.facebook.com/events/2088524884775803

Photos of a 2018 Critical Mass bike ride in Brattleboro are at:

www.valleypost.org/2018/09/08/photos-critical-mass

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On September 20 a jury punished the Springfield police department for keeping Mark Schand in prison for 27 years for a crime he did not commit. The mayor and city council are appealing. If they lose the appeal, Schand will get millions of dollars. Schand is African American.

No nation keeps such a high percentage of its people in prison as the USA. Europe's rate is a third of ours.

The nation's prison system is racist, according to the book, “The New Jim Crow” by Michelle Alexander. Vermont sends prisoners to Mississippi to save money. Ten percent of Vermont prisoners are African American.

Five states had more 400,000 slaves each when the Civil War began. Mississippi was one of them. There were 36 states when the war ended 154 years ago.

“To date, 367 people in the United States have been exonerated by DNA testing, including 21 who served time on death row. These people served an average of 14 years in prison before exoneration and release,” according to www.InnocenceProject.org.

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Nelson, New Hampshire borders Roxbury, which borders Keene. In Nelson on October 5 there will be a celebration. The town permanently protected 580 acres of forestland from development. The land is open to the public for hiking.

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